05. 16. 2006
At long last, the Treo 700p smartphone with Palm OS
In my love/hate relationship with change, I've been dying to upgrade my Treo, but, as a long-time Palm OS user, have been stymied by my reluctance to change to the Windows Mobile platform on the Treo 700w, which was released by Palm and Verizon back in January. So I've waited -- disgruntled and bemoaning lost opportunities to be more productive -- for the Palm OS version, a wait that was all the more excruciating because I never upgraded to the 650, which I thought wasn't enough of an upgrade from the 600 to bother with.
Sprint just announced that it will be the first carrier to offer the Treo 700p, available at the end of this month for $399.99 "after available discounts and promotions" (I would imagine the discount is partly based on the signing of a long-term contract). Unlike the incremental improvements offered by the Treo 650, the Treo 700p seems to me like a leap forward to another generation. I'm most excited about faster email and downloading of attachments through the high speed EV-DO (Evolution Data Optimized) network, and built-in dial-up networking (through Bluetooth or a USB connection) which will enable me to use the phone as a modem for my laptop so I can work on the train as well as in hotels and airports without wi-fi (and, most frequently, in my car while I wait in the interminable carpool lane at my daughter's school). And the Documents To Go suite will allow me to keep working on Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents (in a pinch that is; I've never found it comfortable to work on long documents on a handheld device).
The entertainment features are not as crucial to me, but having taken many poor quality photos on my various cell phones over the past couple of years, I know I'll appreciate the new 1.3 megapixel camera and camcorder, a huge improvement. I can probably do without the built-in MP3 player, except maybe on those rare occasions when I've been kept waiting somewhere and I don't have my iPod on me. When it launches, Sprint also expects to offer tv capability through Sprint tv.
While some reviewers and consumers are disappointed by the lack of wi-fi (and perhaps I would be too if I ever had it in the first place), for me, this one is worth the price of the upgrade.
CNET editors' preliminary review talks about the upside and downside of the new Treo.